Results for Category: Past to Present
Samah Hadid, the deputy director of Amnesty International, said that most human rights activists in the country were either in prison or on trial, their whereabouts still undisclosed. The others, she added, risk arrest at any time. MBS is clearly remaking Saudi Arabia in his image, while proving to be just as authoritarian as the rulers before him.
The recent dissent has been dubbed the ‘uprising of the poor’, who have been hardest hit by the country’s economic woes . The protests that followed the allegedly rigged presidential election in 2009 mainly attracted middle-class protestors who prioritized their political and cultural grievances over economic demands. Although it is difficult to separate economic and political demands, rising prices and growing inequality were the main instigators of the recent protests.
But due to (still relatively small) Iranian influence in Yemen, the Saudis and Emiratis will be obliged to work together in the medium term. As the Brookings Institution’s Bruce Riedel put it, ‘The war costs Tehran a few million dollars per month, while it costs Riyadh $6 billion per month.’ Any disagreement between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi could increase Iran’s influence.
With no quick solutions to the Syrian conflict in sight, Turkey’s approach to the war has become one of self-interest. Gone are the days of demanding regime change. Al-Assad looks here to stay, a fact reflected in Turkey’s changing stance on the war, which is now focused on countering Kurdish military strength. The resurgent Kurdish threat will ensure that Turkey will not be leaving Syria any time soon.
The balancing act that Hamas and Fatah are now forced to play requires some external pressure, and it appears that the Egyptians are willing to apply this pressure, especially against Hamas. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is able to exert similar pressure on the PLO, mostly by means of its financial support to the Palestinian government.
Today, Palestinians in Jerusalem number about 300,000. They have learned from years of war and discrimination the simple lesson that anyone who leaves his home or land will find it hard, if not impossible, to reclaim. The Palestinian strategy at present is therefore focused on sumud or steadfastness. The idea is that until the balance of power changes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the best thing that Palestinians can do is to stay put.